"A Lion Among Leaders", What World Leaders Have To Say About The Great Lee Kuan Yew

Leaders around the world mourn and praise Lee Kuan Yew's lifelong legacy in turning Singapore from 'mudflats to metropolis' as quoted by the ambitious man in his own words.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak personally reaches out to Lee Hsien Loong, saying that his father's "legacy is assured"

Mr Lee Kuan Yew called on Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak at the administrative capital of Putrajaya, 9 June, 2009.

Image via The Straits Times

"I am very sorry to hear about the loss of your father. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. On behalf of all Malaysians, my deepest condolences to the people of Singapore. Founding Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew's achievements were great, and his legacy is assured."

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In his statement, Najib states “Malaysia is committed to the future of our relationship with Singapore; to peace, stability and shared prosperity between our nations, and within Asean as a whole.”

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PKR hailed Kuan Yew as “a nation-builder like the late Tunku Abdul Rahman.”

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Parti Keadilan Rakyat President Wan Azizah Ismail also expressed the opposition party's condolences:

"As the founder and first Prime Minister of Singapore he was a nation-builder like the late Almarhum Tunku Abdul Rahman; both struggled for the independence of Malaya and Singapore from the British. He initiated developmental policies that were transparent and efficient, and was successful at attracting foreign investors to the point that his country was dubbed the "Swiss of Asia"

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United States' President Barack Obama says Lee Kuan Yew was "one of the great strategists of Asian affairs"

Singapore's then-Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew (left) meets with U.S. President Barack Obama in the Oval Office of the White House, Washington, 29 Oct 2009.

Image via The Financial Express

"Minister Mentor Lee’s views and insights on Asian dynamics and economic management were respected by many around the world. Many of this and past generations of world leaders have sought his advice on governance and development. I personally appreciated his wisdom, including our discussions during my trip to Singapore in 2009, which were hugely important in helping me formulate our policy of rebalancing to the Asia Pacific."

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United Kingdom's Prime Minister David Cameron says Lee Kuan Yew turned Singapore into one of the great success stories of modern world

From left: British Prime Minister David Cameron (left) shakes hands with Mr Lee Kuan Yew (right), 15 Sep, 2009.

Image via Channel News Asia

“He personally shaped Singapore in a way that few people have any nation. He made his country into one of the great success stories of our modern world. That Singapore is today a prosperous, secure and successful country is a monument to his decades of remarkable public service. He was always a critical friend to Britain, many British Prime Ministers benefited from his wise advice, including me."

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Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher once said she admired Lee Kuan Yew for the strength of his convictions, the clarity in his views, and the directness in his speech

Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher greeted by then Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew at the Istana, Singapore on 31 July 1998.

Image via Japan Times

"There was no Prime Minister she admired more than Mr Lee for ‘the strength of his convictions, the clarity of his views, the directness of his speech and his vision of the way ahead’. His place in history is assured, as a leader and as one of the modern world's foremost statesmen.”

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New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key was struck by his unwavering determination to see Singapore succeed

Prime Minister John Key (left) with Singapore's first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew (centre).

Image via Channel News Asia

"Lee Kuan Yew’s courage, determination, commitment, character and ability made him a formidable leader who held the respect of Singaporeans and the international community alike. I had the honour of meeting Mr Lee in 2007 during his last official visit to New Zealand. He was well known for his insights and foresight but what struck me most was his unwavering determination to see Singapore succeed."

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Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah admires Lee Kuan Yew's effort to impart his wisdom and guidance to help all Singaporeans grow

Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah (left) shakes hands with Mr Lee Kuan Yew while Mr Lee's wife, Mdm Kwa Geok Choo (right) looks on at the Brunei Crown Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah Bolkiah's wedding ceremony in Bandar Seri Begawan, 9 Sep , 2004.

Image via Channel News Asia

He was a charismatic and exemplary leader who made great strides for the people of Singapore. His Majesty also appreciated Mr Lee Kuan Yew's vast contributions towards maintaining regional peace and stability." He's tenacity in continuing to impart his wisdom and guidance for the benefit of all Singaporeans was admirable. That under his visionary leadership, he achieved great strides in elevating Singapore's stature both regionally and internationally.

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Philippines President Benigno Aquino applauds Lee's unswerving devotion to Singapore that earned him the respect of nations worldwide

Philippine President Benigno Aquino chats with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, also Mr Lee's son during their meeting at the Istana presidential palace in Singapore, 18 Nov.

Image via Channel News Asia

A statement by Undersecretary Abigail Valte said:

Throughout his long life, as prime minister and senior minister, Lee demonstrated an unswerving devotion to his country, turning it into a state that would be an exemplar of efficient, modern, and honest governance. The development of Singapore has earned the respect of nations and people of Phillipines.

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China's President Xi Jinping recognises Mr Lee as widely respected by the international community, strategist and a statesman

President Xi Jinping (right) shakes hands with Lee Kuan Yew at the Great Hall of The People, Beijing, Nov 2007.

Image via South China Monrning Post

Mr Xi said in a message sent to Singapore President Tony Tan Keng Yam, "He was the founder, pioneer and promoter of China-Singapore relations."

Mr Li, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on its website:

"Mr Lee Kuan Yew had worked together with the pioneering generation of Chinese leaders in opening the gate for the friendly cooperation between China and Singapore. His contributions to the China-Singapore relationship and China’s reform and opening up will surely be marked by history."

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India Prime Minister Narendra Modi describes him as a far-sighted statesman and a lion among leaders

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today condoled the death of Singapore’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew, New Delhi, 23 March.

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"Mr Lee Kuan Yew's life teaches valuable lessons to everyone. News of his demise is saddening. In this hour of bereavement, our prayers are with Mr Lee Kuan Yew's family and the people of Singapore. May his soul rest in peace."

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Indonesian President Joko Widodo acknowledges Mr Lee as a great leader, statesman who loved his people and one of the most influential politicians in Asia

Indonesian President Joko Widodo says the former Prime Minister was a close friend of Indonesia and renowned as the founding father of modern Singapore.

Image via The Sydney Morning Herald

In a statement delivered through his Cabinet Secretary:

"Under his leadership, Singapore successfully transformed into a major economic hub in Asia, putting it on a par with other developed nations. The Government and people of Indonesia believe that Singapore would be able to pull through this difficult time and develop according to the aspirations of the people."

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Unwavering in his beliefs and strong in his dedication to Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew was definitely a force to be reckoned with

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